Friday, November 15, 2013

Juniper Grove presents...Mystical High by Lisette Brodey

Title:  Mystical High
Author:  Lisette Brodey
Published: October 7th, 2013
Publisher: Saberlee Books
Word Count:  72,700
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Content Warning:  Mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity
Recommended Age:  14+
In Mystekal, a small, dying town in the Southern California desert, only 75 students attend the old, sometimes creepy high school dubbed “Mystical High,” where strange things have been known to happen. Jessie Dalworth and Jinxsy Patterson are juniors and lifelong best friends. At home, Jessie deals with the pain of an absentee mother who has abandoned the family for the lure of Hollywood; Jinxsy contends with a 17th “birthday present” she never wanted or expected.

Meanwhile, at school, the unexplained activity begins to escalate when Jinxsy keeps seeing a long-haired guy in the hallway checking her out. Jessie can’t see him, but her younger brother, River, can.

Then, in English class, a stapler mysteriously flies off teacher Eve Carrow’s desk, hitting a student in the face who has just mouthed off to her. The beloved teacher is in the unenviable position of having her brute of a father as principal, so she hates sending any student to his office. As Principal Ernest Carrow begins to terrorize Eve and others more openly, something or someone unseen decides that it’s payback time.

School is getting stranger, and Jinxsy and Jessie are faced with mind-boggling changes in their home lives that complicate everything. When a string of shocking events expose explosive secrets, decades-long mysteries are finally revealed.

About the Author:
Lisette Brodey was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them working in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles, where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.

Back on the East Coast, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. In 2010, she returned permanently to the Los Angeles area.

Her first-published book, CROOKED MOON (General Fiction) was published in both the trade paperback and Kindle editions in 2008. Her first-written, second-published book, SQUALOR, NEW MEXICO (Young Adult/General Fiction) was published in the Kindle and trade paperback versions in 2009.

Her third novel, MOLLY HACKER IS TOO PICKY!, a romantic comedy, was published December 1, 2011. The author blogged as her character, Molly Hacker, for over a year. All blogs can be found at

In January 2013, the author edited and published a book of her mother's poetry (written 50 years earlier) called MY WAY TO ANYWHERE by Jean Lisette Brodey.

Lisette's fourth novel, MYSTICAL HIGH, is the first book in her YA Paranormal Desert Series trilogy.

Interview with Lisette Brodey

Welcome to Keira’s Corner, where there is always chocolate and lots and lots of coffee.

Keira: You have a story out entitled Mystical High. What is that about?

Mystical High is about strange and random happenings in a dying desert town. The story centers on two best friends, Jinxsy and Jessie, who are juniors in high school. The bizarre occurrences begin in a classroom, but they soon escalate to include the girls’ families and teachers. Everyone tries to make sense of events that defy logic, but no one has a clue just how much everything and everyone are connected.

Keira: What made you choose that title?

I wanted a title that was short and sweet and representative of what the book is about.

Keira: Where did the idea for your story come from?

I’ve always had a great interest in (and some experience with) the paranormal. I wanted to write a paranormal novel that was realistic as well. Living in southern California, I had a great desire to write a story that took place in the desert. When I finished the book, I was so excited about it that I decided it needed to be a series.

Keira: What is your preferred genre to write in?

That’s a tough one. This is my fourth novel. I’ve written general fiction, YA (coming-of-age), and women’s fiction (a romantic comedy), and this book/series is YA paranormal. Although I’ve written in four different genres, my style is very much the same: character-driven novels with multiple story arcs and lots of secrets.

Keira: Are you with an indie publisher, a traditional house, or self-published?

I’m self-published (Saberlee Books) because I like to have complete control of my work. I’m lucky enough to know some very talented editors and graphic designers who work with me. I couldn’t do it all without them.

Keira: Please tell us about any future projects that you are planning.

Mystical High is the first book in The Desert Series. I expect the second book to be out in spring 2014 and the third novel by fall 2014. After that, I’ll be finishing a general fiction novel that I’m already well into writing. I have several more ideas, but that’s as far down the road as I’m specifically planning.

Keira: Are you currently running any contests? What are they?

I sure am. I’m currently running a blog-wide giveaway that includes the following prizes: $35 Amazon gift card (international), a Mystical High tote bag (U.S. and Canada), and a copy of my novels Squalor, New Mexico, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!, and Mystical High (three separate prizes; U.S. only).

Keira: Do you work at a job outside the home, or is this your only career?

Sometimes I work as a SAG background actor in film and television, but being an author is my number one and favorite job.

Keira: We have a special place for unpublished writers in our hearts here at Keira’s Corner. So what advice would you give to an unpublished writer?

I love to hear that, Keira. Every writer was once an unpublished writer. I know that most authors offer the same advice, “Write, write, write,” but it makes sense. Remember this: you can’t edit a blank page. Even if you don’t like what you’re writing, keep the words coming. Don’t ever forget that great ideas often evolve out of bad ones and that your skill will grow with experience. Just keep writing, and remember that you’re accomplishing something wonderful just by not giving up.

Keira: What do you wear to write?

Something very comfortable.

Keira: Where in the hell do you find time to write?

That’s a great question. The world of publishing has changed so much, and most authors (even traditionally published ones) have to use social media to some degree. There’s so much to do besides writing the actual book, and many authors (this one included) hate that there aren’t more hours in the day. Like the Nike slogan says, “Just do it.” It’s like getting onto a New York City subway car at rush hour. You’ve just got to squeeze your way onto the car to get where you need to go.

Keira: Why are you a writer?

Because it’s as natural to me as breathing.

Let’s get personal…

Keira: Do you judge a book by its cover?

In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. I think we all have an initial reaction to cover art and there’s no doubt that it can have an extraordinary impact on us when choosing to read/buy a particular book. While I do initially judge a book by its cover, there are many other factors that I will also consider. I’ve read some great books with bad covers and some not-so-great books with fabulous covers. That said, having a great cover is extremely important to me.

Keira: What do you think you will be doing five years from now?


Keira: Scary Movies or Happy Endings?

Happy Endings, for sure. I see a lot of movies. Horror isn’t my favorite genre, but if it’s really good, I enjoy it. There’s a second-run movie theater near my home and I go to matinees every weekend for $2. So I see a whole lot of films that I’d never see if I had to pay full price.

Keira: What is your guilty pleasure?

Movie popcorn

Keira: Do you have pets?

Yes, I have a dog (dachshund/Chihuahua mix) and a cat. They get along beautifully and one of my biggest joys is watching them play together. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but sometimes they are so much fun to watch that I’m distracted from my writing Shhhhhh!

Thank you for hosting me on your blogspot, Keira. I’ve had a great time.

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • $35 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
  • Print copy of Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (US only)
  • Print copy of Squalor, New Mexico (US only)
  • Print copy of Mystical High (US only)
  • Tote bag (US and CAN only)      
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keira Kroft

Friday, November 8, 2013

Juniper Grove Presents...Secrets Kept by J.L. MBewe

Title:  Secrets Kept
Author:  J.L. Mbewe
Published:  October 15th, 2013 by AltWit Press
Word Count: 100,000
Genre:  Fantasy
With a curse, she will build an army.

With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.

But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.

Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.

Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.

About the Author:
Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete.

She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don't seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things. While living life balanced between reality and dreams, she is creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.

Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, is coming this fall, and in the meantime be on the lookout for a few short stories set in the World of Nälu.

Interview between Keira Kroft and J. L. Mbewe

Welcome to Keira’s Corner, where there is always chocolate, and lots and lots of coffee.

You had me at chocolate! Oh, and coffee too! Thank you for having me!

Keira: You have a story out through AltWit Press entitled Secrets Kept. What is that about?

A story about a young woman who discovers her father is the secret keeper of a corrupted dagger. The murder of her father sends her world into chaos, and she must join forces with a half-elf widower to find her mother and free the plains people from a curse before the sorceress unleashes an ancient evil.

Keira: What made you choose that title?

Originally, I had called it Sorceress’s Curse, but the publisher said it had to go. We brainstormed and came up with Secrets Kept, which I think is fitting. Even though the sorceress’s curse is important to the story, the focus is on Ayianna, her secrets, and whether or not, she will she keep them.

Keira: What is your preferred genre to write in?


Keira: Are you with an Indy publisher, a traditional house or self- published?


Keira: Please tell us about any future projects that you are planning.

First, I’ve got book two and three in this trilogy to finish up. After that, I’ve got 21+ projects in various stages. From complete rough drafts to outlines. Two of which are trilogies set in the same world as Secrets Kept, but I’m not sure what I will tackle next.

Keira: Are you currently running any contests? What are they?

Yes, thanks for asking! To celebrate the release of Secrets Kept, we are having a costume contest where the grand prize winner will walk away with a loaded Kindle Fire, an Excalibur letter opener, chocolate, swag, and of course, signed copies of Secrets Kept and a companion novella, The Tales of Nälu: Volume One.  

Keira: How many books have you written?

One published. Although, I have five published short stories.

Keira: Do you work at a job outside the home or is this your only career?

I’m hoping this will be my only career. Ha! But yes, I am a stay-at-home mom for the time being while I pursue this writing thing.

Keira: We have a special place for unpublished writers in our hearts, here at Keira’s Corner. So what advice would you give to an unpublished writer?

I don’t have anything to add what’s already been said. Just: read, read, read and write, write, write. Keep seeking, keep practicing, learning. Read what you can on writing, on social media, marketing, and then find your own rhythm, your journey, your voice. Last year I did a series of blog posts called Yo Ho a Writer’s Life for Me. Learning the mechanics of writing builds a good foundation, but it’s also about balancing it with the art of writing. So as Elizabeth Swan said, "Hang the code, and hang the rules. They're more like guidelines anyways." But we have to first know the rules.

Keira: What do you wear, to write?

Whatever I have on that day. But I have jokingly thought about wearing my pirate hat to help differentiate between all the other hats I have to wear. That said, it would probably have more to do with procrastination. 

Keira: Is writing your only talent?

I can draw, sort of. But I think writing is my strongest talent.

Keira: Where in the Hell do you find time to write?

I take stock of life, what needs to get done, the kids’ needs, writing needs, etc, and then I carve out a time to write and guard it as well as I can. Right now, my “writing time” is during quiet time and right after I put the kids down to bed. And I don’t watch TV.

Keira: Why are you a writer?

Because I can’t sing. Ha! I have such a deep, burning desire to express and connect with others on the adventures we find in books.

Keira: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

J. K. Rowling or Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Keira: How many hours a day do you dedicate to writing?

Five hours, which includes blogging, research, etc.

Keira: Do you use a particular writing method?

Still too early to tell. But basing it off the times I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, I research as much as I can about the subject matter, develop map, an idea of the setting, and select main people/place names.  After I come up with a rough outline, I dive in.

Keira: What time of day, do you write best?

Evening. But I’ve discovered I do well during nap/quiet time too, when I’m not getting interrupted.

Keira: Do you use one or more pen names?

Just my initials. I really wanted to have a pen name, but I ran the risk of choosing a corny name. Ha!

Keira: Please share a particular detail about one of characters, please.

My protagonist, Ayianna, wanted to be a stargazer, a profession among the elves where they can observe the sky and read what might be written in the stars.

Let’s get personal…

Keira: Are you married?

Keira: Do you have children?
          Yes. A five year old boy and an almost three year old girl.

Keira: Are you a reader?
          Yes! Reader first, writer second. I never want to lose my love of reading. I’d rather quit writing instead.

Keira: What is your favorite favorite animal?
          I LOVE horses.

Keira: What are you reading?
          Currently I’m reading Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard and an advanced reader copy of Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Excerpt from Secrets Kept by J.L. Mbewe:
Leaves rustled, and the bush’s slender limbs shuddered. Shadows veiled the intruder; the light of the lantern unable to penetrate the layers of dry leaves and stems. Ayianna peered closer, and a dark mass burst out of the bush toward her face. She flung her arms up. The milk pail slammed into her head, and its warm contents splashed down her face, neck, and clothes. The lantern rocked on its hinge, the flame flashing and flickering wildly. The intruder screeched and a rush of wings brushed against her skin.
Ayianna lowered her arms. A large bird ruffled its dark feathers and made to settle its wings, but one hung at an odd angle. Its round, ebony eyes ogled her.

Could it be?

“Fero?” she asked. “Is brother home already?” She glanced around, but her eyes failed her in the half-light. Her wet clothes clung to her skin, and the breeze grew colder. She shivered and glared at the bird. “Brother or not, look what you made me do? Now, I’ve got no milk, and I’m all wet.”
Fero jerked his wayward wing back and hissed.

“Are you hurt?” Ayianna lifted the lantern, and its glow poured over the falcon, revealing dark stains on his ribbed underbelly. She reached out to touch him, but he gnashed his curved beak at her. The branch shifted, and the bird thrashed about trying to regain his perch, but then he broke free and soared haphazardly into the red-tinged sky.

Atop the bush, a strip of cloth fluttered where Fero had sat. She tore it free. The fabric was damp, soiled, and stunk of decay. It stained her fingertips red. Blood?

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed Print Copy & swag.

Giveaway is US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keira Kroft

Friday, November 1, 2013

Juniper Grove presents...Lingering Echoes by Erica Keefer

Title: Lingering Echoes
Author:  Erica Kiefer
Published:  November 1st, 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  86,000
Genre:  NA/YA Contemporary Romance
Recommended Age:  14+
She's broken with guilt.
He harbors a chilling past.
It's safer if they keep their distance...
But, the echoes that linger connect them.

Returning to Hidden Pines is the last thing Allie Collins wants to do during her final summer before college. For her, the family cabin she spent her youthful summers in, now holds a dark memory that has haunted her every day for the last year.

While struggling to forget her past, Allie runs into Damien, a local rebel with secrets of his own. He's dark, dangerous and he keeps showing up when Allie least expects him to. She has every reason not to trust him. So why does she find herself opening up to him in a way she hasn't been able to with anyone?

As pieces of Damien’s identity emerge, answers to a rumored mystery begin to unfold. By the time Allie unearths the secrets of Damien’s past, she realizes just how intricately they are connected. Now she is caught in a dangerous battle that threatens her life and those she loves.

About the Author:
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007.

Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing, and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far.

Erica's first book, Lingering Echoes, was signed by Clean Teen Publishing and is scheduled to release in early November 2013.

 Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Quotes from Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer:

“Go. Hide. Don’t say a word. And no matter what happens, don’t come upstairs.” ~ Damien

“I’m afraid of how the water feels when it swallows you whole. It doesn’t care who you are, or who you love. I’m afraid to sleep, to dream . . . to remember over and over again why I know how that feels.” ~ Allie (p. 96)

“I knew I should be scared. I was about to die—death by drowning, after all. . . .This was my fate. Water, the conquering enemy, would have me at last, but the fear that should have fueled me was numb—unresponsive, just like the rest of my body.” ~ Allie (p. 225)

               “Besides, I don’t think I could keep a secret for that long. Oh, unless you wanted me to keep a secret. Then I totally would.” ~ Brooke

 “You’re afraid. You don’t let anyone get close to you because you’re afraid of getting hurt.”~ Aaron

“Change was a scary concept. Whether you were ready for it or not, sometimes it crept up on you, ambushing without warning, and no matter if you wanted it or not, you had to figure out how to accept it and adapt to its insistent nature.” ~ Allie (p.246)

“When someone you care about is being threatened, the choice is simple. The action itself is instinctive.” His eyes met mine. “And obviously, you’re worth it.” ~ Aaron
“Look, the two of you together can probably take me.” He paused, gripping the wooden plank with both hands. ‘But whoever comes at me first will be going to the hospital.” ~ Damien

“If you know what’s good for you, Miss Collins, you best stay away from him. Dark pasts will always find a way to catch up with ya. You seem like a nice girl. It’d be a shame to read about you in the papers.” ~ Martha, Souvenir Shop Owner (A.K.A. Nosey, old, gossip!) (p. 118)

“Seems like you have some secrets of your own.” ~ Allie

Excerpt from Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer:

With a gentle push, he encouraged me to take a step.
“I can walk without your help.”  I released myself from his grip and stooped in quiet pain to retrieve my flip-flops from the ground. Taking a tentative step, I silenced a groan, feeling my body resist. Fortunate for me, stubbornness runs in my family and I leaned on it to carry me forward, my right leg limping in protest. I managed a few quick, short steps, trying my best to walk with dignity, when I heard a low chuckle behind me.
Apparently, I was failing in my efforts.
               No sooner had I turned my head around, ready to battle him on his sense of humor, when I was swept up into the air by two strong arms.
“Hey! Put me down!”
With a full smile, he exposed his white teeth lined up next to each other, as his dimples teased me again. “With the pace you were making, you’ll never make it back before sunrise.”
Resisting the idea of being carried, I tried another tactic.
“You’re not supposed to move someone who’s fallen, you know. Everybody knows that. I could have a broken back or a broken neck—”
He cut me off. “Well, there’s obviously nothing wrong with your mouth.”
I fumed in resigned humiliation, though not before cursing at him under my breath.

Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • eBook copy of Lingering Echoes & bookmark prize pack 
a Rafflecopter giveaway